Mother’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year. For me, it’s a reminder that to have a mom and be a mom isn’t a right but a sheer gift, and one I’ll never take for granted. The sweet hugs, hand-drawn pictures and homemade cards on Mother’s Day just make the gift that much more special.
From one mom to another, I wanted to give you some encouragement that might not be etched on the homemade card, something that affirms you on this “Mom” journey you’re on.
No matter how long you’ve been a mom, take these things to heart…because they’re true!
More than Enough
Before I pulled my babe close for the first time, I had this idea that if I was a good mom–worked hard enough, loved well enough, and prayed long enough—my son would “turn out.” (Whatever that means.) If he didn’t, it meant I must have done something wrong. So, of course, I wanted to be the best mom ever.
If that thought has ever crossed your mind, don’t flatter yourself. To say you can mess up your son or daughter is to attribute too much power to yourself and too little to God.
Here’s the truth: You’re never going to be enough—and that’s okay. God never intended you to do it all. And even if you did manage to be the perfect parent, it’s not a guarantee everything will turn out like you planned. After all, Adam and Eve had a perfect Father and they still decided to do their own thing.
Forget trying to be perfect. God’s power supersedes your parenting weaknesses. His grace is more than enough and fills in the imperfections. Rest in God’s power. And if you don’t mind my Proverbs 3 paraphrase: “Don’t depend on your own understanding (know-how, training, parenting prowess). Instead trust what he can do; he’ll show you the right path” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Take the Joy
One summer day we were in our front yard and my six-year-old and his little friend started mimicking moves from Kung Fu Panda. Eeee-yah! I got the giggles and couldn’t stop. I laughed until I could hardly talk. The memory still makes me smile.
Other times I was so busy organizing the Legos, putting puzzles pieces away, and straightening the kitchen that I forgot to enjoy. Fortunately my husband excels in that area so we balanced each other out.
Take the joy God gives you through your kids. Enjoy your son or daughter. Savor their silly bath time conversations like you’d sip a cool ice tea on a summer day. Tuck away their questions and insights. Treasure their company.
You don’t have to entertain or plan high-level fun events to do that. It’s not about what you do as much as appreciating who they are.
My friend Allison says, “I love learning how my kids think and what they like. They’re so cool! I want to be like them when I grow up!”
That’s a mom who enjoys her kids.
“If motherhood was going to be easy,” said author Barbara Johnson, “it never would have started with something called labor.”
Being a mom is a ton of work. But all your hard work is going to pay off.
Sure there are days when it drains your emotions and leaves you exhausted. Sure a few thank-you’s here and there would help you get through the day. But kids just don’t say, “Thanks for burping me and changing my diaper, Mom.” “Thanks for cleaning up after I had the stomach flu.” “Thanks for huddling under an umbrella in the pouring rain to cheer at my soccer game.” It just isn’t going to happen.
But God sees. He notices every sacrifice and tender touch. Don’t get tired of keeping on keeping on (Galatians 6:9). It’ll be worth it. The care, the patience, and the prayers you plant will make a difference. God says you harvest what you plant (Galatians 6:7). Focus on the sowing; he’ll take care of the reaping.
A Place of Honor
God never degrades motherhood but talks about it like it’s a place of honor. So many verses in the Bible describe God in “mom” terms (Psalm 131:2; Isaiah 49:15)! Because of that you have an inside track that helps you understand God better.
When it comes to the mothers around you, show them the same honor.
Honor the mom your daughter or daughter-in-law have become. Respect her decisions. Support her as she parents.
Honor your own mom, your kid’s grandma, and your mother-in-law. There’s no expiration date on the command to honor parents (Exodus 20:12). Treat her like you’d like your adult children to treat you some day.
Honoring people honors God.
I’ll wrap up this letter to moms by saying there’s no easy 1-2-3 for motherhood. You learn as you go and do your best. Embrace the gift; your hard work will pay off. There’s a reward coming! God’s got all your parenting imperfections covered. No need to stress. Enjoy your kids, whether they’re little or grown. And remember the place of honor God shows you as a mom. Honor the moms around you the same way.
Know a mom who could use some encouragement today? Feel free to share!
Happy Mother’s Day!
© Carol Garborg, 2021